Perspectives About The Congressional Response To Zika; Thoughts On The Virus’s Risks
Editorial writers take in-depth looks at the current state of knowledge about the Zika virus as well as the congressional reaction to it.
The New York Times:
On Zika, Congress Is Failing To Do Its Job
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has concluded that the Zika virus causes brain damage in babies born to infected women, which adds to the growing evidence that the virus is a major public health emergency. Yet Republicans in Congress are refusing to appropriate the money needed to respond to this crisis. (4/14)
Los Angeles Times:
Now That We Know Zika Causes Birth Defects, Will Congress Stop Bickering About Emergency Funding?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday officially blamed the Zika virus for causing birth defects in infected mothers. It's something that everyone believed to be true, but everyone has been wrong before. (Remember that flat-Earth thing?) This pronouncement is based on study of existing data and comes just two days after the CDC's Dr. Anne Schuchat said: "Everything we look at with this virus seems to be a bit scarier than we initially thought." (Mariel Garza, 4/14)
Zika Risks Are Small: Column
South Korea last month joined the growing list of countries with a confirmed case of Zika virus. Since the World Health Organization declared the virus a global public health emergency in early February, public fear has also spread. While it's the duty of public health officials to warn the public of outbreaks and how to prevent them, they also need to allay the public's fears to prevent reactions that cause unintended negative consequences. (Merceditas Villanueva and Joan Cook, 4/14)
The Zika Virus Is Worse Than We Thought
With summertime mosquito season approaching, the Zika virus is beginning to get mighty scary. In recent years, we’ve had to deal with other insidious threats, including another mosquito-borne disease, the West Nile virus. But Zika is truly sinister. It’s most vulnerable targets are pregnant women and the fetuses they carry, which the virus attacks. On Wednesday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed Brazilian doctors’ initial suspicions — that had become widely accepted — that the Zika virus causes babies to be born with abnormally small heads, a condition called microcephaly, usually accompanied by brain defects. (4/14)